First Family Trip


By Ben Strege Print Icon Print Report View/Leave Comments (1)
Dates:May 22-24, 2014
Entry Point:26 - Wood Lake (BWCA)
Type:Canoeing
Lakes:Wood

Wood Lake Family TripAuralee and I had been planning on doing a loop through Clearwater, Pine, and the Pikes May 22-26. Due to unforseen circumstances, my mom was unable to watch our two kids, Weston (age 4) and Rohan (age 6 months). We tried to find an alternative sitter without success. Faced with the possibility of having to completely cancel our BWCA trip, we talked about bringing the kids along. We were planning on bringing Wes on his first trip this year, but we had never considered bringing Rohan. The weather was supposed to be perfect. Also, since the ice had just gotten off the lake less than two weeks ago, there probably wouldn't be many bugs. We decided to give it a chance and bring them.

First of all, we decided to shorten the trip to two nights - we didn't want to commit to more than that on an experiment. Then we had to find a different entry point. We didn't want to get stuck on large lakes in the wind with the kids. We also didn't want to drive the five hours to the Gunflint Trail for two nights when Ely was only 1 1/2 hours away - Wes and Rohan wouldn't know the difference. I knew there wouldn't be many permits available, but I was hoping to find a "kid-friendly" one. Bingo! There was one permit available for Wood Lake.

Now we had to figure out what else we needed for the kids. Clothes, sleeping bags, toys, blankets, diapers, life jackets - the list seemed endless. Packing for kids was a little different than just packing for us two. I stayed up late packing. (Around 11:00 PM packing before a trip, I'm always thinking, "Is this worth it?" Of course it is, but sleep deprivation sometimes gets in the way.) We also had to pick up a few odds and ends as we left Grand Forks.

Wednesday night we stayed at my parents' house. No one was there, but it was a nice place to stay before the trip. I finished packing everything in the car (somehow it all fit) and got a good night's rest.